Most people think it’s an app for teenagers who make videos of themselves lipsyncing to Ariana Grande or dancing to a song about macaroni.
And I’m not gonna line – there’s plenty of that on TikTok. But there’s also WAY more.
TikTok has gained popularity with all age groups and all niches. And, to find success, you don’t have to lip-sync or do silly dances (unless you want to).
Late last year, I decided to give TikTok a try. I wanted to know if it was a good traffic-driver for business, so I committed for two months.
Here’s what happened:
- I tripled my number of monthly YouTube subscribers
- I more than doubled the ad income from my YouTube videos
- I added 871 new subscribers to my email list
- I earned $500 in affiliate commissions
I also grew my following to 100,000 in those sixty days. Since then, I’ve grown my account to more than 360,000 followers, and the benefits I’ve reaped from TikTok have only multiplied.
Right now, TikTok is fantastic for business growth and should be a tool in your marketing arsenal. If you’re ready to get started, I’m sharing all the tips that helped me create and leverage popular TikTok videos.
Just in case you’ve never heard of it before, TikTok is an app that allows users to create videos that are 15 to 60 seconds long. These videos can be about anything, as long as they don’t violate community guidelines.
TikTok users can like, comment on, and share videos on other social channels. In fact, TikTok videos are often shared on Facebook, so if you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely viewed your fair share of viral TikToks.
According to data compiled by BackLinko, TikTok has more than 1 billion users worldwide. It’s currently the fifth top-rated social app, trailing Facebook Messenger.
TikTok’s growth has been exponential, with more than 785% growth since 2017 in the US alone. With TikTok being a top app that is still growing, now is the perfect time to leverage this platform.
Luckily, getting started on TikTok is incredibly easy. If you already have experience using Instagram reels, TikTok will be a breeze.
How to set up your TikTok profile
Getting started is pretty straightforward. Download the TikTok app and create an account. You’ll set your username, complete a short bio and upload a profile pic.
Under the settings, you’ll want to switch to a business account. A business account will allow you to place clickable links in your profile, which is extremely important.
Since all accounts are created as personal accounts, you’ll have to jump through a couple of hoops to switch to a business account.
It’s easy, though, promise!
After creating your account go to your profile page. Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner. Now, click “manage my account” click “switch to pro.”
Once again, click “manage my account.” Now click “switch to business.”
You now have a business account equipped with analytics and a spot to add a clickable link.
11 biggest tips for exploding your TikTok growth
During my 60-day TikTok challenge, I was intentional about setting up my videos and what I did once they gained popularity. I attribute this to my continued growth.
I suggest following these 11 tips when getting started with TikTok, to find success quickly.
Tip 1: Research trending content in your space
After creating your account, research trending content in your space. Search for famous brands and creators, click through popular hashtags, and spend time watching TikTok videos from creators with similar brands as you.
Pay special attention to the structure of the videos, the hook, and the call to action. Don’t skip this step. Without spending time on the app, you won’t know what does well.
Tip 2: Imitate the structure of popular videos
The ways that you can create TikTok videos are endless.
- You use a screenshot as a background and show yourself talking.
- You can record yourself doing something and then add music and text over it.
- You can use a bunch of different screenshots and on-screen text.
Seriously, there are so many different ways to go about making TikTok videos.
When you’re just getting started and want to gain traction quickly, the best thing to do is imitate what’s already popular in your space. I’m not advising copying the videos – only following the structure. If everyone uses screenshot backgrounds and then shows themselves talking, try that format.
In my niche, which is primarily based on entrepreneurship, videos of a person talking and using screenshots generally do the best. I’ve also noticed that including specific words in a title makes TikToks is my niche more popular.
This will be different for every niche. Study yours. You can experiment with different setups in the future, but you need to do what already works to grow fast.
Tip 3: Plan your video topics
If you have a blog, you can use old blog posts to help create your video scripts. I was able to take an old blog post I wrote on top side hustles and use it to make more than a dozen different videos.
Don’t be afraid to use your older content!
If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay too. Think about your TikTok end goal (more sales, a bigger email list, and improved Instagram following, etc.) and come up with topics that will directly relate to your end goal.
You should also be looking at the videos you researched and see how you can put your spin on the already popular topics in your niche.
Tip 4: Most important: add a strong hook to every video
When it comes to getting viewers to watch your TikTok, nothing is more important than creating a strong hook. You have about 5-6 seconds to convince TikTokers to watch your video.
Make a short, snappy hook for each TikTok you make. Think about your angle as you’d think about a blog post title or the beginning of an Instagram caption. What you say has to be compelling enough to catch people’s attention.
Tip 5: Have an end goal for every video
Your hook is what gets viewers to watch your video. Your call to action is what tells them where you want them to go.
When you plan out a video, think about the end goal. Are you looking to add viewers to an email list? Do you want to send them to a sales page? Do you want them to check out your Instagram?
As a business, you need to be clear on the end goal when creating your videos. Your call to action, and corresponding link, need to be directly tied into your video topic.
Here are some examples:
- If you’re trying to sell a cupcake mix, create TikToks of you baking and decorating cupcakes. A sensible call to action would be telling viewers they can get a special TikTok only discount and directing them to the link in your profile, which would land them on a particular sales page.
- If you sell online courses that teach people how to become affiliate marketers, make a TikTok that shows your results and talks about the necessary process. A sensible call to action would be to direct viewers to an email freebie.
- Suppose you’re a fitness coach trying to sell spots to your workout program. In that case, you could create TikTok videos showing how to do popular exercises correctly. In your call to action, you could direct viewers to your upcoming webinar.
Tip 6: Use trending music in your videos
When you create a TikTok, you’ll notice that there is a music tab in the editor. If you’re using music, choose something off the trending tab. TikTok almost always gives the videos that use trending music a more significant push than those that don’t.
Tip 7: Be authentic
As cheesy as this sounds, you’ve got to be yourself in your videos.
Of course, stay on-brand, but there is zero need to be uptight and rigid. I’d dare to say that even if everything else is perfect, being too boring will prevent you from seeing any growth. Stay on-topic but have some personality. TikTok users value authenticity.
Tip 8: Participate in trends when relevant to your niche
On TikTok, you’ll see a lot of people doing the same thing, only putting their spin on it. If there is a trending song or challenge that you can get in on, do it. These can show the fun, creative side of your business and significantly work to your advantage.
Tip 9: Use hashtags
Hashtags on TikTok work just like they do on Instagram. They don’t necessarily boost your videos or give them a broader reach; however, they are clickable and a way to categorize your videos and be seen outside regular feeds.
You’ll especially want to use hashtags if you’re participating in challenges or jumping on a trend.
Tip 10: Understand the TikTok algorithm
Just like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok has an algorithm. Understanding how the algorithm works is crucial to your success.
On TikTok, users have two feeds: For You Page and Following. The following feed shows users new videos from creators they follow. The “For You Page” offers a mix of more recent and popular content it thinks a particular user will like.
As a creator, your goal is to be on the For You Page. This is what will gain you views and new followers. Here’s how TikTok decides how many people will see your video on their For You Page:
- You post a video.
- TikTok pushes that video out to random users on the For You Page.
- If your video has a high engagement and watch-through rate, TikTok pushes it out to even more users.
- If nobody is liking or watching your video, they stop sending it out.
Pretty simple to understand, right?
Once you have a large following, you won’t have to depend on the For You Page as much on views. However, since many users watch only the For You Page, you’ll still want your videos to show up there.
Tip 11: Be consistent
You have to be consistent to find success. You can’t post three times a day for a week and then go missing for a month. That will do nothing for you.
During my challenge, I decided to post once a day on weekdays for 60 days straight, and I saw MASSIVE growth. You need to pick a schedule and commit to it for at least 30 days. After that, you can tweak the number of times you post to find the sweet spot.
Just don’t go from posting daily to once every week. If you want to post substantially less than you have been, slowly taper down your posting schedule. For real growth that can make a difference in your business, be consistent.
What to do when a TikTok goes viral
When a TikTok video starts to gain some traction, there are two things you need to do.
First, keep the call to action link in your profile for at least one week. You’ll experience a traffic boost in the initial seven days of a video gaining popularity. (If you remove that link, viewers will land on an irrelevant page if they decide to follow your call to action.)
Secondly, create a new TikTok every day for a week. Keep the topic closely related to the one in the viral video. This will help you keep your traffic steady.
If you’re ready to expand your business, now is the time to get in on TikTok. Using this platform properly can help you boost traffic to your website, reach new customers, increase your email subscribers and build credibility.
Getting started is easy to do, and if you stick with it, you could make TikTok a massive asset to your business.